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Old 11-04-2007, 03:47 PM   #1
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Steam heating system problems Need HELP


My boiler overheated and lots of water came out of the safety value on to my basement floor. The PSI was way over 15. There was a loud grinding noise from the boiler which is what sent me to the basement to discover the problem. After checking my registers, one of my registers was spilling water from the value and emptied lots of water down through the floor into the basement. I checked each value on all the registers and some had small puddles of water under them, others just wet on the bottom of the values but none were totally dry.

Does anyone know what caused the register to release so much water from the value and/or what happened to the boiler and how to fix the problem?

I shut off the heat since that register is leaking and I don't know if there is damage to the boiler or other register values. Now I don't have heat!!

Help! Help!

Boiled by a boiler

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Old 11-04-2007, 10:47 PM   #2
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Steam heating system problems Need HELP


I'm confused by the terms you used. What are you calling a register and values? Are these radiators and valves or vents?Also need some detail of the boiler. Is this a steam or hot water boiler? If it has a sight glass it's steam. Is the water line visable in the sight glass? Sometimes people over fill the boiler and water spills out of the radiator vents. Sometimes the water shutoff doesn't completely shutoff and the boiler also over fills.
Grinding noise would be odd unless you have a hotwater boiler with circulator pumps or a vent damper.
Unless the boiler was just over filled you will not fix this and you need to call a plumber.
Ron

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Old 11-05-2007, 06:36 AM   #3
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Steam heating system problems Need HELP


Check to make sure your autofill is functioning properly and the levels of the boiler are correct in the sightglass. Then come back and post what you find.
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:54 PM   #4
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Thank you for responding. Sight glass is full and low water shut off valve is sticking. Also, some of my thermostats are not working. Took them off and some of the registers that did not get hot started working again. Could there be any other issues I need to look for?
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:22 PM   #5
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Steam heating system problems Need HELP


You could try answering the questions I asked before and maybe the ones following. That's the way it works. You have a problem. We ask you questions. And then you reply to the questions.
What are you calling registers and values? Do you live in the U.S.?
The sight glass should not be full. You should see the water level in the glass. Is the low water valve stuck in the open or closed position? Do your thermostats have batteries? Are they digital or mechanical?
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:51 PM   #6
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Sorry Ron,
I'm new to this and didn't see your posting. Thank you for responding. I am a single woman living in the US. It is a steam boiler. It has a sight glass. It sticks in the open position until I tap it. The radiators are long iron units and have a release valve on the ends with a slit at the top that can be turned to regulate the amount of air that is released. They are mechanical and do not have batteries.
Thank you for the help.
Sherry
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Old 11-05-2007, 05:57 PM   #7
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Steam heating system problems Need HELP


If the low water valve is stuck in the open position, the pipes filled with water and the water came out the vents. Valves are the things at the bottom of the radiators that shut off the steam going to the radiator.
You need to shut off the boiler and drain the water out until you see the water in the sight glass. It should be 2/3 of the way up the glass. That takes care of the leaking vents. To stop this from happening again you need to flush the low water shutoff a few times to get the sluge out. During the heating season, sludge will build up over time as the repeated steam cycles flush the surface rust back down into the boiler from the pipes. This sludge will prevent the low water cutoff from working properly. Every few weeks flush the low water cutoff to keep it clean.
You will probably need to replace all the vents that spewed water.The mechanism that can decipher air from steam has probably been compromised. You can test this by starting the boiler, after the water is at the proper height. Any radiator that doesn't get hot will need to have the vent replaced. These vents do not have the same ratings. A steam system radiator is balanced room by room. The radiators closest to the boiler will have the smallest vent holes. Tha radiators furthest away will have the largest holes. Each vent will have a letter or number designation stamped on it. Replace it with the same designation. If the vents are adjustable this will be trickier to balance the system but easier to purchase. You will need to "trail and error" the settings. Open the vents completely on the radiators the greatest distance from the boiler and very little with the radiators close by. The goal is for all the rooms to heat up at the same time. If the vent in the room the thermostat is located in is open all the way that room will heat up fast. The boiler will think the whole house is warm and turn off.
Buy a few cheap thermometers and place them around the house as feedback to the adjustments. Over a few heating cycles you should get it pretty close.
If the problem with the thermostats still exists after this fix, repost.
Ron
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Old 11-05-2007, 11:17 PM   #8
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Ron, Thank you for your help. Sherry

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